Welcoming Fast Talk’s New Chief Content Officer — Griffin McMath

A naturopathic doctor and former executive editor, Griffin McMath brings her experience to the podcast and shares what she brings to Fast Talk Labs.

We have exciting news! Dr. Griffin McMath has joined Fast Talk Labs as our new Chief Content Officer. She’s a naturopathic doctor,  she’s the former executive editor at the Institute for Natural Medicine, and she’s been a relentless champion for integrative health and medicine across multiple industries for the last decade. Her experience ranges from academic medicine and writing e-books with Olympians to national public awareness campaigns and her own personal accomplishments after dealing with injuries. 

Griffin is bringing the perspective that a holistic understanding of health and longevity, supported mental health, and true enjoyment of your sport are equally important to performance for today’s athlete to Fast Talk Laboratories. This mindset perfectly supports our quest to help build well-rounded athletes and coaches.  

On this week’s show, we talk with Griffin about the many sides of sport and how her varied training and diverse background can help individuals with their endurance sports journey. We’ll also talk about how the experience of living in different locations creates empathy and can challenge the mind and body in different ways, as well as the importance of personal narrative when it comes to perseverance and resilience.  

So, get ready to meet the newest member of the Fast Talk team, and let’s make you fast! 

Episode Transcript

Rob Pickels  00:04

Hello, and welcome to Fast Talk your source for the science of endurance performance. I’m your host Rob Pickels here with Coach Connor. We have exciting news. Dr. Griffin McMath has joined Fast Talk Labs is our new Chief Content Officer. She’s a naturopathic doctor. She’s the former executive editor at the Institute for Natural Medicine, and she’s been a relentless champion for Integrative Health and Medicine across multiple industries for the last decade.

Rob Pickels  00:34

Her experience ranges from academic medicine and writing ebooks with Olympians to national public awareness campaigns and her own personal accomplishments after dealing with injuries. Griffin is bringing to fast talk laboratories the perspective that a holistic understanding of health and longevity supported by mental health and true enjoyment of your sport are equally important to performance for today’s athlete. This mindset perfectly supports our quest to help build well rounded athletes and coaches.

Rob Pickels  01:03

On this week’s episode, we talked with Griffin about the many sides of sport, and how her very training and diverse background can help individuals with their endurance sports journey. We’ll also talk about how the experience of living in different locations creates empathy and can challenge the mind and body in different ways, as well as the importance of personal narrative when it comes to perseverance and resilience. So get ready to meet the newest member of the Fast Talk Labs Team, and let’s make you fast.

Trevor Connor  01:33

Hey Fast Talk listeners, this is Trevor Connor, would it be cool to decide what Rob and I are going to chat about on an upcoming show? Or how about we answer a question the polarized training you’re dying to know what about a 30 minute zoom call with Robert me on your favorite sports and dirts topic. This is all possible to become a fast talk Patreon member. We have four monthly membership levels to fit your level of support. If you enjoy fast talk help us stay independent in dishing out your favorite sports science topic by becoming a fast talk Patreon member you can join us at patreon.com/fast Talk podcast. Well welcome Griffin really excited about this. We get to introduce you to our audience. So welcome to the show. Thank you I’m so happy to be here.

Rob Pickels  02:18

Is this your actual birth into the world? This exact moment? Did you exist before this moment?

Griffin McMath  02:24

I don’t remember how I got here.

Trevor Connor  02:26

Say if a tree falls in the forest and it’s not recorded on fast talk did it make a noise?

Rob Pickels  02:31

Exactly was Griffin even born if she didn’t record a fast talk episode?

Griffin McMath  02:35

Just absolute infantile stage over here.

Rob Pickels  02:39

It’s true. We can’t have people just hiding behind the scenes, Trevor, people need to know everybody that is behind fast talk.

Trevor Connor  02:47

So welcome to fast Talk where we are not egocentric at all.

Rob Pickels  02:51

It’s not listen, people. It’s not just about Trevor and I, there are so many more lovely souls that make Trevor and I as amazing as we are.

Trevor Connor  02:59

We’ll go with that.

Rob Pickels  03:02

All right, what are we talking about? There’s something serious behind today’s

Trevor Connor  03:07

Somewhere in there was actually a really good point, which is this is not just rob and myself. And periodically grant Joanie, also on his phone. We have a whole team here. And we have a fantastic team. And we have somebody who has recently joined us that we’d like to introduce that we’re really excited about. So Griffin, welcome. Again, we’re really excited to have you on the show and introduce you. Thanks, I’ve

Griffin McMath  03:31

been looking forward to today get to see what happens behind the scenes here.

Trevor Connor  03:34

So Griffin, you have joined us as our Chief Content Officer, which means that if Rob and I really do screw up this show, it’s your fault, you get to cut it, you get to say no, that doesn’t go live. That’s horrible. So we would like to spend a little time introducing you to our audience today and what you bring to fast talk. And I think before we get into that, and you bring a lot, you bring a lot that we’ve never had at the company that I’m really excited about. It was one of the reasons I was so happy to offer you that invite to join our company. But I’d say let’s start a little bit with your background because you pointed this out before we started recording here. You and I have a bit of a commonality of we seem to do dumb things to ourselves.

Griffin McMath  04:23

Let’s just put a preface on this that just because you and I do this and continue to do these things does not mean it’s recommended.

Trevor Connor  04:31

We should do a whole episode of all the dumb things we have done then like the take home is don’t do any

Griffin McMath  04:36

Yeah, take home is please don’t do this. But here’s some really great stories. Yeah,

Trevor Connor  04:41

we have done this for you. You don’t need to do this. So Griffin, where are you from?

Griffin McMath  04:46

I grew up in Michigan about an hour outside of Detroit, and spent probably until I was 21 or 22. There so Midwest born and raised salt of the earth salt of the earth. earth friendly, hospitable underground rapper. Yeah. 100% I thought that was how we’re closing the show out today.

Rob Pickels  05:07

I thought you were gonna freestyle. Yeah, throughout the episode. We’re just warming up. No, our contents not improving like I thought it was going to

Trevor Connor  05:14

all I can say is living in Toronto, I used to drive down sell to your warm Southern Michigan.

Rob Pickels  05:23

Anybody from Detroit would actually agree with that statement, but we’ll go with it. Yeah,

Trevor Connor  05:27

I’ll let that ride. I have to go with it. Wait, which direction for Detroit?

Griffin McMath  05:31

I grew up in Troy. And honestly, I’ve been gone for so long at this point that if you asked me to put things out in the map, I don’t care that I was there for two decades, right? I wouldn’t know anything.

Rob Pickels  05:42

So you’re a fellow I’ve bounced around a lot, or so much. So much. Where have you been? What have you learned from it?

Griffin McMath  05:49

What have I learned from that? I went out to San Diego for five years that Southern California has its own beautiful, amazing time to be. That was amazing. I spent a couple years in the mid Atlantic and Baltimore and DC. Really enjoyed that. Just a whole different conversation at happy hour. That much networking events look very different cakes up in the Pacific Northwest for a year, did a stint during the pandemic and Hawaii for two years in Kailua Kona. And then I moved to Colorado about a year ago. And

Rob Pickels  06:26

I thought you had a water theme going on. But

Griffin McMath  06:29

I until I got to Colorado, the transition was so rough to be my first landlocked state. I do but you know, I live in a town about an hour away from where our offices here in Boulder that has a lot of lakes. And so at first I was like this does not count. I come from like Great Lakes or like the oceans and I went from living 100 yards from the ocean and a super humid environment to the first couple of weeks living in Colorado, I had migraines and nosebleeds and no water in sight of what did I just do. But I love it. Now,

Trevor Connor  07:04

I want to take this a little bit further, because I’ve lived a lot of places too. And what I have noticed from my own experience, when I talk with people who have lived one place, there are just kind of acceptance of the way things are done here just is just the norm. And for better, for worse, I’ve lost that there is no norm for me. So when I interact with people, I’m bringing in an experience, there’s a lot of other places. And I’m also trying to learn where you from, what are your experiences? How do you view the world? And I’m wondering if you have experienced something similar? And does this affect how you work with people, how you interact at the office, how you interact at home,

Griffin McMath  07:44

yeah, that’s actually spot on, I think you become so adaptable, so almost a morphus. And you kind of show up and you acclimate to what’s happening there, you obviously don’t try to lose yourself, but you figure that out. And there’s a really unique difference between people who’ve grown up in a certain environment have never really left home or short, a small radius from home and have that one solid friend group or one community that they just kind of grow out through. And I think when you move around so much, you have to constantly recreate that, and your family or your network, they’re spread out. I mean, I have friends from London, to Hawaii to all over the world at any given point, which means it’s not as easy to just stop, drop and get together as a group. So I think that’s one way it’s affected me, you have to have a lot of confidence to go out and to put yourself out there. So I think that’s kind of impacted, I can go up and talk to anyone doesn’t matter who they are, if they’re, you know, someone on the side of the road, or which I don’t know why I’m on the side of the road, but I’m using that as an example.

Rob Pickels  08:59

You got a flat tire.

Griffin McMath  09:01

Perfect. You know that or if I’m talking to the headliner of a show afterwards, and we ended up you know, taking them out or something that there’s that kind of barrier doesn’t necessarily exist for me, I think that helps me and networking I also think because I have seen so many different ways of viewing life or of kind of operating and perspectives what motivates people. When I enter especially here at work environment, I try to lead with more questions and to not make any assumptions and then see what they kind of bring back to me.

Trevor Connor  09:36

There is a side of you I really want to get to know here because reading your bio, there’s a lot of casts and slings here and I will tell you, you had me at broke both wrists. So tell us a little bit of what it was like growing up as Griffin.

Rob Pickels  09:53

It’s worth in her interview she opened with I broke both of my wrists and Trevor said you’re hired

Trevor Connor  09:57

pretty much that was the whole interview.

Griffin McMath  09:59

I Play through the pain. Yeah, you know, I come from a split big family. They’re spread from coast to coast and a wide variety of ages, step siblings, you know, biological siblings, and just watching a lot of different ways that people could go through life and really appreciating really early on sport and athleticism. For my immediate family that was, you know, watching the Celtics that was appreciating a lot of New England sports, and then also a lot of outdoor adventure. So that was a huge part one competition, soccer, all these different sports, I mean, everything down to growing up, I did soccer, basketball, lacrosse, water polo, I did synchronized swimming, I was the person they lifted out of the water. That was that was a fun thing. Don’t really miss putting jello in my hair. Not gonna lie. And then lo and your hair. Yeah, it’s called Knox gelatin to make it hard so that your hair doesn’t fall on your face. You get some burns, actually. So this is a thing. This is a thing.

Trevor Connor  11:01

I didn’t know this was running bikes, podcast.

Griffin McMath  11:07

And then even like being my high school mascot, so like being active, being able to physically express my body or push it to the limits, and competition was always a thing. But then outside of that there was just such a desire to explore and be adventurous. And so we would do whitewater kayaking, whitewater rafting, at a really young age, we’d go rock climbing out in the mountains in Washington State, and I climbed a 100 foot crack. And amazingly, when I was out in the real world, I could conquer it. But if you put me in a climbing gym scared me to death, so I think there was this thing early on to where I really didn’t like, I think one maybe being left behind. I don’t know if that’s actually fully accurate, but being limited, being restricted and not being free to go do or to accomplish something or to see life from a certain vantage point, you know, even from like a summit of a mountain. So I got injured a lot. I really put my whole body into sport, I think and not always in the best way. So you know, I I was a little bit more brave than my body had the ability to catch up with. So when I was in middle school, I was practicing basketball with my dad, he was 60 to 250. At the time, it was going up for a layup and I was like, I know this move. I’ve seen it, I’m gonna charge I’m gonna hold my ground. He was already in the air. Brave, but not always, like, you know, yeah, you gotta love the spirit there. And he genuinely tried to flap his wings like arms over me. And I fell back and broke both wrists. And you know, I come from the Midwest with kind of that tough father’s like, don’t you cry, we’ll go to the ER after dinner. We found out one rest of the time that they’re both broken. And I was part of multiple basketball leagues, so I didn’t like having to be benched. So I would just stealthily keep practicing and laying where they

Trevor Connor  13:05

both casted

Griffin McMath  13:06

they wouldn’t. This is what’s hysterical. They are maybe not as sterile it’s actually a little upsetting. They hard cast my non dominant hand. And for two weeks, I continued to be in significant pain. And we went back in, they’re like, Oh, you did the same thing to your right wrist, but we want you to still be able to do your homework. So we’re gonna give you a soft cast that you have to take off. So my wrists are dainty little creatures. They never fully, properly came back to probably their full capacity. But yeah, I think stuff like that, you know, I would dislocate my shoulder playing soccer at recess, I’d get a sling and keep playing because I didn’t like to be left out. I always wanted to play and be a part of that. So kind of the same thing. But I think as I got older, too, it became less about that fear of missing out and more about how am I filling my life? And how am I also conquering the things that really scare me. So I just started throwing myself into the things that scared me the most admire. Yeah, I think that’s the only way you work through it. I’m not saying it is to face it. Now how you face it. There are clinical recommendations out of a properly addressed fear by not so much that I’ve always done that, you know, I got whiplash, I injured my back to I still hiked Half Dome. I had a rollover car crash a few years ago, and have really struggled with PTSD after that, and my body being able to do what it used to do. So I the first time I got keys to a car, I drove it for hours and I worked through like I did a first five minute drive, I realized that I had PTSD, waited till the end of the workday got in the car, and I drove for hours so I could work through that fear and like and talk myself through it and, you know, still had was pretty messed up after the accident went and hiked to Mauna Kea, like if you have a fear, or a self limitation, that to me is one of the biggest cues where you Need to lean in to life and address it. And sometimes the fear you think it makes you or that you should be going a certain way. And really, it’s kind of pushing back and you saying no, no, you can do better in this situation, you don’t necessarily have to leave it. Stick around be better. So I think that was kind of the trajectory. At first, it just started with injuries and being stubborn and just wanting to play. And then it really was like, No, I don’t like being sidelined in my own life. And I need to know where I can hold myself accountable, to doing better to showing up better and to overcoming whatever that limitation is, that’s on me.

Rob Pickels  15:34

It’s interesting how these limitations can occur within our psyche, right. And I know for myself, man, there’s maybe a corner that I crashed in, and on the next lap, I shouldn’t go quite as fast or you’re a little bit tentative. Trevor, we previously talked about you in the rain after not being in the rain for so long. You went from really confident in it, too. Oh, God, I can’t do this anymore. You know what, also, too, I think that athletes face, maybe something like I really put myself out there, I really attacked, I really went for it. And it didn’t work out and I didn’t win, I didn’t get the result that I wanted to. And so maybe next time, I don’t know if I can put myself out there like that next time. But I think that everybody universally, you know, the outside person looking at that athlete says, Hey, you got to get back on the horse, I know you crashed in that corner, technique wise, maybe we can work on something. But you still need to go through that corner. And if you want to win a bike race, you still got to be able to put yourself out there so that you can be in the position to it. And that fear of it not working last time, we need to get rid of that we need to find the way to move forward so that you can confidently move forward. And ultimately, I think that that puts you in the best place for success. That is the way that you don’t crash your bike next time. That is the way that you hopefully win the race next time. I don’t know listen to our episode with Alex and Kiel on how to win a bike race. But that’s that’s a story for another day.

Trevor Connor  17:04

I really admire that and fully agree with you about that importance of if there’s a fear, if there’s something that causes fear, you need to take it on, you need to take it on head on right away. You know, I can tell you from experience, I’ve had a few bad crashes descending. And when that’s happened to me, when I was living in Colorado, you literally get back on the bike and I go and do the mountains in Colorado and hit the sun descends and you’d have the crash would come back to you’d feel some fear. But you would keep doing the dissents. And you get back to your old self pretty quickly. Exactly. But I remember this is when I was living in Toronto where there is no descending the there’s a couple of little hills, but they’re just straight shots. So

Rob Pickels  17:47

they’re overpasses

Trevor Connor  17:49

like that. And that I was living in Toronto and I had that crash and Tobago where I landed on my hip fractured my hip got hit by a car. So there was a bit of fear there. And then came back to Toronto and did not descend for a long time. And then soon after that, I moved to Colorado and discovered I could not descend anymore. It had gotten into my head. And I just wouldn’t let myself to descend, descend fast and it took years to get it back. Well, I think had I gotten right back on the bike and gone descending after that crash, I think I probably would have gotten over it quickly.

Griffin McMath  18:26

You both just said something that I really want to pick out here. Rob space, what you had just talked about, you know, athletes and learning, like oh, maybe I need to adjust the technique. And I think that is such a key point there. As an example of this story that we just talked about my bio, I would throw my body into sport, I would do this and it was just like a give it everything I had. And then you know, that can be with an athlete too, or there’s so much enthusiasm, there’s so much passion, it’s so cool. If I just give it my all, then I expect these results. When really, in this case, this example, it’s being able to understand that in life, whether on the road, and you’re in a race or even in your interpersonal relationships that mean the most you you may have all of the Passion all of the drive to make something work to get this result. And sometimes you just need to let go a little bit on what that is and just make minor adaptations to your technique and the way that you approach something. And that really is it’s the learning this feedback loop over time of you can have all the passion, you can have all the drive, but if you’re just throwing yourself in there, doing what you’ve always done, you’re not being mindful to the small feedback loops of I need to change that technique. And if in that process driver to your point, you end up getting really really hurt. You know, on the road, you get hit by a car, which sometimes when you tell that story by the way I can’t help but laugh because you’re just so deadpan about it and like I just got hit by a car and

Trevor Connor  19:59

it was the third The 10th time.

Griffin McMath  20:03

Like not everyone can say that. But you know if and you’re adjusting your technique or doing whatever you can, and then you end up getting hurt, that really can change you, it can change everything about the relationship you have with your physical body, what you think is possible for yourself and then that rarely ever is a compartmentalised feeling that will permeate your sense of self worth, that permeates your ability to get up off the couch, how you numb yourself rather than cope through. And that can be a really dark hole to kind of pull yourself out and your brain starts to actually wire around that narrative. And then every other area of your life is set up according to that framework. So again, we go back to these athletes, and where you’re at, as a coach. So let me tell you part of their story. For the first few minutes when they meet, you are like this is the minute goals. If you don’t understand how someone is wired, the story, they tell themselves, maybe the story they’ve been given to that’s really hard to shake, you have to have compassion to watch someone rewrite a new story for themselves, rewire their brain to be able to have the capacity to adjust to techniques or have the capacity to let go.

Rob Pickels  21:16

Yeah, I think this goes back to a work smarter, not harder, sort of mantra, right. And as athletes, I think that the majority are of the mindset that if some is good, more is better, more training, more volume, more intensity, I can just work harder, and I can make this work. But that’s not necessarily the case. lactate threshold metabolic profile, and VO T max are key testing metrics for endurance athletes, whether you live in Colorado or across the globe, you can get the benefit from inside scientific monitoring and physiological testing for performance and health. at Rocky Mountain Devo we offer both in person and remote testing. Contact us today at Rocky Mountain devo.com.

Trevor Connor  22:02

Griffin where I actually really want to go here is your education. Because this, you bring a lot of really unique things to this company I’m very excited about and I do really want to talk about those. So tell us a little bit about your education and why you went down this path?

Griffin McMath  22:17

Yeah, absolutely. I went to college. And really, I thought I really wanted to become a doctor, among other things. But I knew that the way that I had seen medicine be practiced, it didn’t completely resonate with me. And I grew up with a pretty adventurous and explorative spirit. So I knew that I wanted to be able to travel and do medicine that was something was really important to me. But I also kept noticing kind of back to this theme that everyone has a different way they go about life, there are different cultures that view the body in a different way they view illness in a different way they view birth and death and achievement differently. And I knew that I would need a framework or a skill set that would be adaptable to any of those. So I ended up studying anthropology, which, if that doesn’t sound like you know,

Rob Pickels  23:06

it’s an interesting course. Yeah. medical career. Yeah, no,

Griffin McMath  23:10

I did. And I really loved medical anthropology. And I volunteered and studied abroad a little bit and mostly Spanish speaking countries, little bit of Germany there during FIFA in 2007. That was a good time. But otherwise, it was studied anthropology had this really a great appreciation for having that broad perspective. And also trying to D center myself in whatever narrative I was showing up to serve. I think that was really important. Not that I feel like I really excelled that but in doing that, I also knew that I wanted to be the kind of physician who could be dropped anywhere in the world with as minimal resources as possible, like not necessarily have to rely on a pharmacy or something else, and be able to, you know, be in the most remote places and still have a skill set, or the wherewithal and the knowledge of what to use in my environment to support someone. And so ultimately, you know, like, becoming an MD didn’t feel right, I looked at becoming a doctor of osteopathic medicine to do. They’re an incredible profession and have had quite the story. And I felt like it was a little bit more of a like they had physical medicine, oh, maybe I could do this, but it’s again, it just didn’t settle with me. So I found naturopathic medicine, which is really an underdog profession in the United States. Right now. It’s regulated at a state by state level. So I am a licensed naturopathic physician in the state of Hawaii right now. And I have practice in the mid Atlantic in Baltimore in a clinical academic setting in integrative oncology, but really that doctor of naturopathic medicine gave me so many different things I learned a botanical medicine, everything from, you know, an appreciation of more of that energetic folk botanical medicine to truly phytochemistry My degree is science and evidence informed. It’s The same four year physician level accredited program, I have two sets of licensing exams, the first two years, I mean, we did our cadaver lab every Friday for multiple hours for an entire year, minor procedures. So that was kind of naturopathic medicine, really, that holistic physical medicine, botanical medicine, a huge emphasis on nutrition, before it was a cool thing to bring to med school, you know, all these different kind of modalities and those tools in my tool belt. And so when I graduated, I knew that I wanted to try to bring something else about. So I studied health literacy, I studied Innovation in Healthcare Management and undergraduate certificate through business school. And, you know, even down to every detail was important to me. And I think that’s you’re talking about this earlier with content details are important. And I couldn’t pick this is just kind of funny. And maybe it says a lot about me, I couldn’t pick a stethoscope for like three years, because of the color psychology of what it does to patients. And I was looking at the research, the even the point, after I left medical school, I knew that the way that we set up offices change the type of care that we’re able to provide to patients. So I studied evidence based design, and looked at ways that we could improve that. And that was like my focus of innovation. So this path really was just constantly seeking, what could influence something, what are the different factors that contribute to the environment we create, where someone can heal, or succeed or perform or thrive. And I looked at all the details from the story, we tell ourselves, the culture we are raised in to how we actually go access that care down the line. So that’s, you know, my educational background, a ton of different things and advocacy and policy and went to the World Health Assembly, that kind of global health perspective. But that’s kind of that that background, I would say,

Trevor Connor  26:55

really do admire this, because coming from Canada, naturopathic medicine is part of the medical world up there, it’s highly respected, you have a lot of natural paths up in Canada, my understanding is very much the same in Europe, US took a very different path, the US medical system was much more mechanistic, and I think you’re only just starting to see naturopathic medicine start to pick up in the US it’s not like it is in some of the other countries, I really admire that you said, I don’t want to go the traditional route, I want to find another way. And that you chose this, I think you’re you’re a little ahead of the curve. And love the fact that you said this is medicine is more than just giving a prescription, more than just fixing a broken bone there. There’s a mental side of this, there’s a nutritional side of this, there’s an exercise component to this. Can you talk a little more about that?

Griffin McMath  27:49

Yeah, absolutely. And what you said to there’s many people in my life where MDS DEOs who are in more of a conventional medical environment, and I respect and appreciate them so much. So I want to make sure that this doesn’t come across as an either or there’s always an end, right? It’s just knowing when and who can step in, and obviously, the situation of healthcare, especially in the United States, we have all these different provider types who are being benched, you know, for whatever reason, and they really could have a role to play. It’s just finding how to do that. And naturopathic medicine is one of them. So, you know, I could have gone to try to become an MD or do but for me, it was more about what am I coming away with a skill set that matches what I have and the knowledge that I want to be able to have, rather than Who do I want to be? And what’s this kind of in title. And so that was really important to me. And knowing that we have this comprehensive view of one person, there is still an appreciation of population health, obviously, in public health, but the one person is so much more than the few symptoms that are obvious to them, or that present inside of the context of an appointment. And so that’s why appointments with Andy’s tends to be 90 minutes in the first appointment, we have so much to cover. And so the recommendations may not even truly start to kick in until the second appointment. And I think a lot of people look at that, like someone’s trying to monetize something. It’s like no, there’s always more questions, to find something out, a kid may come into your office, and there may be behavior problems. But until someone asks a variety of questions might be like, can you see the board from what your seat is? And then you realize that like, all these things stem back from something. So there is that huge mental component, there’s a huge emphasis on rapport, which coaches can absolutely appreciate with their athletes, right? And how do you use that relationship as its own intervention? And if you don’t have the ability to have the time, not that you can’t, because again, there are physicians in the hospital setting who only have a few minutes, but they they’re able to develop some type of rapport, but their care is also compartmental I used across a care team with the nurses and other people who are checking in. So, for naturopathic medicine, especially the conventional field, I think is starting to move along and look for integrative medicine, but naturopathic medicine specifically, we do look at all these different things we look at where someone is at you meet the patient, where they’re at, you can’t have them meet you where you’re at where you want, because it’s not sustainable won’t have, it won’t happen, the compliance will be poor. So we also because of this diverse tool belt that we have, are able to say what’s most appropriate for this patient in this point in their life, while I have these tools, this is how they’re living their life right now, this is where they want to go clinically, this is where I know we need to move in this direction and what’s best for them. So how do I put all those cards and then play the right hand. So I do think that that’s the direction that we’re going. And D is, especially in United States, we are increasingly being included in different policies that improves access to care. So it’s great increasingly making friends with the medical community, and busting myths and breaking down barriers. But I do look at that. And the way, you know, one of my first patients and independent practice was a female athlete, who, in sparing the appropriate details push herself and became every sport that she was in. And she was paid to travel internationally to excel in her sport. And we noticed what used to be called female athlete triad right now. It’s called Red’s and, and something else. But we look at someone like that, and with athletes. And if you don’t treat or approach in a comprehensive capacity, you actually could be doing more harm, you could be encouraging some of these situations. And so, really, I look at naturopathic medicine and integrative medicine, it’s, you know, you want to practice good medicine, you want to practice good coaching, with your athletes, you have to do it comprehensively, you have to do it holistically, you can’t really rush the process, and you have to meet them where they’re at, there’s no choice, otherwise, you are doing harm.

Trevor Connor  32:08

We talked about this on the show there. There’s an old school mindset that fortunately, you see fewer and fewer coaches applying now of they didn’t consider their female athletes to be revving at top form until they’ve lost their period. They saw that is a good sign, not a, you’re out of balance, we need to address this,

Griffin McMath  32:28

yeah, that I just have to take a huge breath of, of just how frustrating and really how sad that makes me because people carry that that that also has such a monumental impact on their life. I mean, there are people I went to medical school with who now specialize in strength building and temporarily had addressed disordered eating. And then really got to this other point where they looked at what can we build around someone’s life, and they were such intense athletes who lost their periods. And that was, you know, this goal, or wait, our numbers or shapes and our sizes, and the absence of the things that may, I don’t say make us female, because you know, gender is a construct. But these kinds of feedback loops that show our body when we’re in balance. Once those are all gone, then it’s a measure of success. But really, especially for people who start out as athletes as teens, you’re doing sometimes permanent damage to the body and what that person is capable of, from a physiological standpoint, throughout their life, not necessarily in performance, but maybe their bone health or gut health other things that, again, irreparable damage. So it really bums me out. But this this individual, this patient had lost her period. And I don’t even know if she had really had it more than a few times, but like into her early 20s. And over time, this person really addressed the mental component of it, she realized that every sport that she was doing at the time, the sport that she’s in now, which is different, she became it, everything about her life was about being the best about outperforming the person next to her, and whatever it took every penny every ounce of training time, every tracking every record, tracking every calorie, and then watching how they physically showed up in their, you know, sport uniform. And the just the difference that that makes now there’s so much more of an emphasis about enjoying it, enjoying it as a part of life rather than it being the only part of life and so many of these physiological circumstances that were happening within our body have now found more of an equilibrium and the joy is the biggest joy she’s ever had. So it does it really bums me out. When that’s the goal like that. That shouldn’t be a metric of success. The metric of success is and I heard this on a on a I think one of your podcasts recently is are you enjoying it? Are you doing well? Are you finding the ways that you can improve? And are you showing up fully to this In a way that makes sense for you and your sport.

Trevor Connor  35:03

This is why I was so excited to bring you onto our team. We have received this criticism a few times. And it’s probably fair criticism that on the show, we can be too performance oriented. We’re all about how do you get the biggest numbers? How do you get the fastest time trial? How do you win races. I actually remember listening to a podcast that had a big impact on me, it was an interview with Floyd Landis this was a few years ago. And they were talking to him about his time, in bike race. And for anybody that is actually going back a bit. Now, Floyd, won the Tour de France, but then got busted for doping and had the title taken away from him. And they were talking to him about performing at that highest level. And then the can’t remember the podcast. In the interview, they asked them about health. And he just went very matter of factly Oh, no, we were horribly unhealthy. health and performance were two different things and all we cared about was performing. And that led to when you have athletes in that mindset of it’s all performance, we’re actually doing damage to our health, you see how easy it is to say, let’s get you doping. And the impact that had on me is, performance is not worth the loss of health. I think even at the very heart, you know, absolutely. People that are just doing this for fun, health is probably more important than performance. But I’m gonna go further and say, even athletes at the highest level racing the Tour de France go into the Hawaiian Ironman, they need to focus on health, I don’t think they can be a complete athlete. Without the mental health side, the nutritional health side, all these other health sides. And I will take it a step further and say I don’t actually think you can perform your best without being a complete and healthy athlete.

Rob Pickels  36:56

I’m glad, Trevor that you brought up multiple forms of health. Yes, right, including physical and mental. I think were two that you mentioned directly. I’m also happy that this larger issue is being addressed, I think, more readily across sport in general, I don’t think that we’re there 100% Today, but I know that national governing bodies like USA Cycling, are directly addressing a lot of what we’re talking about today. And so I love seeing the parallels, as I brought up earlier, you are not heavily involved in the world of endurance sports. And on the surface, it’s hard to see relevancy by you begin having the conversation. And there are so many parallels so many learnings that we are going through as endurance sport athlete, coaches, administrators at this point in time. And I think and I hope that we and when I say we I mean, we as an organization, fast talk labs, but also we as a group and a community of cyclists and endurance athletes, I hope that we continue moving in this direction. And there are professions out there who have already kind of figured it out, right, is that the model is that the template? And I believe that more of the traditional American westernized medicine is also beginning to incorporate some of these aspects, maybe not all of them, maybe not enough of them, but at least some of them, that’s one step in the right direction. And hopefully, as we continue to take those steps in the right direction, we all end up in a better place because of it.

Griffin McMath  38:36

Well, as far as these professional endurance athletes goes, there’s performing going it hard, fast trying to break records for me, No, give it your all. There’s also longevity of your career as an athlete. And if we’re only focused on this particular race, this particular competition or season, and we’re not thinking about how we’re building over time, a skill set, we’re building over time, a strength to accomplish some of these schools and enjoy your career, as long as you can, then we’re doing a disservice. And we’re just burning through people. And we’re the retention rate and the ability of the sport to have a legacy and build up is minimal. I think that is part of the part that’s really difficult there.

Trevor Connor  39:22

No, and I think this is a really important conversation to have. Because, again, this is why you’re here, I think we’re gonna start having a much more well rounded conversation, Rob, and I can talk all day about the performance and how to hit the numbers and what intervals to do. But what you’re going to start bringing in I hope all of you as our listeners start start hearing in the show start seeing on our website is we’re going to have a lot more about how do you be a healthy complete athlete. And as we said, I think Griffin you’re gonna you’re gonna back this 100% If you are that healthy, complete athlete, you’re probably also going to perform better Yeah,

Griffin McMath  40:00

yeah. And, you know, one of my first weeks here at the company, I was onboarding and just so much information. And we, you know, look at how we’re telling the story of athletes over the course of the maybe like the last couple of decades in this industry. And someone might have been you were so it was course it was you, who brought up, I’ve learned a lot, I have learned so much because of Rob. And one of the things that we looked at was the visual component of the story and media consumption reiterates a narrative, right. And one of the things that I learned was the photos that have paralleled the story of this industry for decades. Centralized suffering, centralized pain, it glamorized the agony, you did get hit by a car and he got up and he kept going, even though his femur was poking out of his leg, you know, whatever the case may be. So all of these photos mean, like that version

Trevor Connor  40:58

of the story.

Griffin McMath  41:00

But that’s my point right there, right, like we glamorize the getting beat to a bloody pulp, in order to achieve something. And if you aren’t in pain, or you aren’t overcoming absolute terrible circumstances, and totally hating it the entire way through because then that’s a victory. Now, we’re seeing something different. And not only, like, you see, people who are enjoying themselves doesn’t mean there’s not pain, it doesn’t mean you’re not going to get a photo of someone to have a heck of a time, throw in there by cabinet having a fit, not having the best, highest self worth day, you know, but it’s just we have to allow that to be part of the experience doesn’t mean it needs to take center stage. And so that was one of the conversations that we had pretty early on is listen, this is where the industry was, I think this is where we’re headed. And knowing that we, you know, we’re a company who has a podcast, we’re a company who has educational content, we have content that relates directly to the athlete, what is this mirror, we’re putting back on them as an organization that they are consuming, that they’re being a part of this conversation? What are we centering as a part of that narrative, whether in direct language tone, or the direction of the conversation that we’re hoping to encourage them to be a part of,

Rob Pickels  42:16

I think an overarching theme to this episode is that there is a full range or a full spectrum of experiences when you live in different places of culture. But also in this instance, yeah, you’re right, there is suffering, almost no matter what universally, you there’s going to be a steep hill, there’s going to be a tough climb, there’s going to be a hot day, you’re going to have to go hard to chase a breakaway. But that is not the only aspect of sport, there is a spectrum within sport as well. And always being conscious and cognizant of that, and not over emphasizing one particular aspect of that spectrum in an artificial manner, which I think is where sport was before. Because what it does is it creates a narrative that everyone thereafter feels like they need to fit into, as you said, my entire day, my entire bike ride should be about going as hard as I possibly can. No, it shouldn’t ask the best pro cyclist in the world. And they will definitely say the majority of their writing is that a nice, easy, leisurely beautiful pace, and they’re looking at the wildflowers on the side of the road. But that’s not the story that’s necessarily told. And so for us what’s important moving forward is let’s tell the full spectrum of that story, whether that’s physical, whether that’s mental, whether that’s all of the different aspects that we’re touching our content with as we talk about endurance sports science and endurance, sport performance,

Trevor Connor  43:48

that’s what I was gonna say, you know, I have gotten pretty good at handling pain. And I’ve said

Rob Pickels  43:54

this and you’ve gotten pretty proud of your ability to handle pain because

Trevor Connor  43:57

it was a skill that I learned I have always said this, I have a below average pain tolerance. And I am a giant coward. So I had to work at this. I was not somebody who this came naturally to me. So it was yes. Oh my. And I fully recognize if I want to win arrays, it’s gonna hurt. When people ask me why I do this why I spend so much time riding my bike. I tend to go more to the enjoyment, the love of doing it. To your point. You know, last week I had a couple really good interval sessions that I was actually really proud of my favorite ride last week. After work on Friday, I rode down to Lewisville and anybody who knows Boulder, there’s you come back into boulder over this hill and there’s this gorgeous view of Boulder. And I did it right as the sun was setting and it was spectacular. And that was my favorite ride of the week. It was just a really enjoyable ride. Got to see the sunset and if you look at my average wattage, it was probably 120 130 I was just Just cruising, just cruising along.

Rob Pickels  45:02

Yeah, I think that the issue becomes when people specifically try to induce the pain when that is the enjoyment, right? Suffering is a part of bike riding. Without question. I’m not saying that everybody goes out and rides easy on their fixie or whatever else. If you’re into that, then then great you can be into that. But when people are out there trying to essentially punish themselves when the point is the pain. That’s when I think that we’re stepping in the wrong direction. And that’s when I don’t think we want to be sending that message. pathways from fast dock laboratories are a new way to explore concepts, master skills and solve training challenges. Our new cycling interval training pathway begins with the basics of interval workouts and progresses to more advanced details how to flawlessly execute interval workouts which intervals brain which adaptations and how to analyze your interval workout performance. Over 21 articles, interviews, workshops and workouts. Our new cycling interval training pathway offers you the chance to master cycling’s most critical and nuanced workout format. See this pathway at fast talk labs.com.

Trevor Connor  46:20

So Griffin, as we start to round out things here, what other things do you hope to bring? What other messages do you hope to convey? Yeah,

Griffin McMath  46:29

you know, when we look at who are the people who are listening right now, to this podcast,

Rob Pickels  46:36

I can’t see any of them about you, when we consider that your room is bigger than mine.

Griffin McMath  46:43

When we think about or consider the people who are, I want to say more than our audience because it really sounds like a one directional relationship. We are looking at coaches and we look at athletes, and we think about how we can support them right now. But this is one part of their life, life can only be compartmentalized so much. And we also age as athletes and coaches, we also have wonderful life events that happen throughout our careers, you know, maybe your partner is pregnant and do during the race, and that brings something up. Or maybe you fall ill or have a life altering injury or a disease like cancer or something that kind of takes away what you thought you could do or changes your plans. And I think one of the things I’m hoping to contribute toward, in addition to the awesome work that’s already been done here, is really seeing how we can support and be mindful of those experiences and kind of what impacts that story of that person. There are so many ways that we can shine a light on how to improve access to these sports, to reduce barrier to entry to improve accessibility, to remove the attachment to originality on that you can only do this sport, if you’re in a certain area. We have a buddy who started a startup for adventures and athletes who live within an hour of Detroit and saying you think of Detroit you think XYZ let me show you all the things you can do on a pair of two wheels and trail running in just I grew up in Detroit, I would never have known. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to leave immediately was I want to go surf in California. The only way I can do this is if I’m near Seattle and these national parks and Mount Rainier. And yes, there’s no Mount Rainier, outside of Detroit, let’s just be very clear. But there are these different opportunities. I think, being able to show there are so many different ways to be an athlete, there’s so many different ways to show up as a coach and how you serve that population, because you have such a potentially life changing impact in that role. And so I really like to bring to light, the nuance, the opportunity there, and a way to tell a different story or to write your own story.

Trevor Connor  49:05

So Griffin, then just one last question to ask you. Why fast talk labs? Yes, Griffin,

Rob Pickels  49:10

why fast doc labs.

Griffin McMath  49:13

I wish people could see your face right now when you ask that question. devious, devious. You know, let’s lean into this. I am not, as you’ve said, and made this clear a few times. I am not a professional endurance athlete. I am not a coach, I have had the beautiful role of playing in people’s lives that have shared some commonality with coaches. I haven’t in a few years, but when I looked at fast talk labs I also saw it really is just like moving to a new place. It is a whole different world here. It’s a whole different culture. There’s such a different mindset of what elite athletes are hoping to get out of life and the coaches who support them to do their best. And I think the last couple of years for me have been really, really challenging, especially when it came to mindset and Sufism. little body, I mean, I had a really, really bad car crash, my mental health went to an all time low. My ability to get the most out of life, even have the motivation or the capacity to physically move and do these things and not be afraid or wired different story really permeated every aspect of my life. And so, you know, I lost a parent, we found out about a fatal disease that runs in our family. And it’s you don’t know until like later in life, and there was so much that felt like limitations and restrictions, and just making the most out of this, like small life that you have, and just a in that type of way. And there was someone in my life, I watched start asking questions to set up his life, that opened up possibilities that opened up like the all the good things that could happen. And so I started asking myself the same questions. And when I looked at fast talk labs, I see people who want to get the most out of of what they have, they want to push themselves. And if they experience injury, this community has different ways to talk about stories behind that are getting up. I’ve met so many positive people in the last few months of being here, where they’re like, Well, if you’re not enjoying it, then why are you Why even do it, or here’s the attitude I have, while I’m in that pain cave, you know, or when I’m climbing something that’s difficult. And I looked at that, and I thought, that is such an amazing mindset to carry through life, that being around that just like moving to new place that contributes to the way that you wire your own brain, the story that you write and the structure that you set up, and I wanted that and honestly, I’ve been here for just over 60 days. And the way that I’ve approached, you know, that relationship with my physical body and my mental health is already in such a really neat placing, I hiked up to chasm lake by myself a couple of weeks ago. Again, Trevor, very dumb, dead phone hadn’t eaten. There were thunderstorm warnings. I was ill prepared like all of those things. But I loved it. I loved every minute of it, the discomfort the way I experience discomfort in life, not only in physical activity and sport. But in day to day, it’s different. And I think I saw fast at labs as almost visiting a different world a different place, geographically a different culture and thinking, I want to see what these people have going on. I know I have something to contribute here. And let’s see how life moves forward with this different story.

Trevor Connor  52:30

Answer? Well, Griffin, we’re really excited to have you as part of the team. The one thing that really struck me here, I’m somebody who kind of stumbled through life and accidentally ended up in a place that I love. I’m the guy who was a history major in college, because the school told me that was the only thing I could graduate on time with. What I admire about you is you were always very focused, and very intentional. But the danger when people are that focus and intentional is they can get very narrowly focused. And you didn’t do that you’ve kept a very broad, holistic, I want to understand the world, I want to understand different cultures, I want to understand all aspects of health, while having that benefit of being somebody who was very focused and very directed. And I think that’s a great mix. And we’re all really excited to see what you bring to the company and what you can do for us, I think you’d bring something very unique. And I think this is going to be some exciting times for us.

Griffin McMath  53:32

Thank you. I would like to send this recording formally to every professor I’ve ever had that Trevor just called me focused. The kid with the worst ADHD in the back of the classroom, just constantly fidgeting that is great. I will take that going for you. I will sleep well tonight. Um, no, they think that I agree. I think people get really focused and you can have all the intention in the world. But you know, this is one thing I learned from living on an island, you can’t force things, you have to flow with things and things change, things come up, opportunities come up and kind of how we can adapt. And I think fast talk Labs has some really awesome opportunities available to the company and to the people that we serve right now. And so much of that is the people who’ve come before and what they’ve built and how we’ve gotten here. So I’m just really excited to be part of the team really grateful to be here and really love giving you the look back sometimes so that I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m getting very good at this look, I hope it robs I’m staring at you right now. I hope it’s one of your favorite looks that you get from me. And I’m just gonna keep making jokes about what I think it means when you say something.

Rob Pickels  54:39

Hakuna Matata wonderful day.

Trevor Connor  54:41

Excellent. Great job guys.

Rob Pickels  54:43

That was another episode of fast talk. Subscribe to fast talk wherever you prefer to find your favorite podcast. Be sure to leave us a rating and a review. The thoughts and opinions expressed on bass talk are those of the individual. As always, we love your feedback tweeted us at fast talk labs or Joe In the conversation at forums doc fast Doc labs.com Learn from our experts at fast talk labs.com Or help keep us independent by supporting us on Patreon for Griffin McMath and Trevor Connor. I’m Rob pickles. Thanks for listening. This is the point of the episode. I know that you’re not very familiar with a lot of fast talk podcasts. But we ask that every guest freestyles on their way out so Griffin take it away.

Trevor Connor  55:27

How did I know you weren’t gonna go to take homes? You were gonna make something? Yeah,

Rob Pickels  55:30

that’s not made up. Trevor. That’s what we do every time we ask people to freestyle rap. Listen, don’t you remember?

Griffin McMath  55:36

Yes, yes, we do. I was only prepared for something that would change the rating of this episode, so

Rob Pickels  55:42

I’m happy to click mature audience Oh, yeah. Rob You gotta be box.

Griffin McMath  55:47

No, I’m gonna I’m gonna I what I will do is give you a sick Detroit bass playlist though. Well, you can put that in the show notes. I know you just like this is how Griffin you know, this is what Griffin looks like and sounds like and this is the music she listens to, and I love challenging assumptions.

Rob Pickels  56:04

I love it. She’s know what you think people.